How to Choose a BMX Bike


Bicycle motocross, or BMX, has been around since disco and bell bottoms. Jumping, racing and pulling BMX stunts is the type of crazy that never truly dies. Designed for tough track riding, BMX bikes excel on dirt, vert, park, street and flatland. Classic BMX bikes have low saddles, chunky tires, durable metal frames and high straight handlebars. On the flip side, there are several BMX variations, with some tailored for urban skills or heavy-duty jumps, for example. As with any bike purchase, you need to do some research and choose a bike that’s comfortable to ride. From racing on dirt tracks to skateparks to performing flatland tricks, you’ll first need to determine which style of BMX riding best suits your interests.

Types of BMX Bikesbmxleukemie_200

  • BMX – This is a dirt ready race bike with knobby tires, a lightweight frame and parts, and a strong rear brake. It’s best for dirt-track racing, going fast off road and for short distances.
  • Freestyle – A super-sturdy stunt and trick bike, Freestyle BMX bikes have an ultra-beefy frame and wheels, pavement-ready tires, cable-detangling headset and axle pegs. Take this bad boy to skateparks. It’s perfect for learning and performing stunts and tricks.
  • Jump – Sometimes called a Dirt Jumper, these are essentially a fusion of BMX and freestyle bikes. They’re similar to a classic BMX bike, but less aggressive. Jump bikes have a sturdy frame and wheels, rear brake, and knobby tires. They’re ideal for carving local trails, jumping ramps and thrashing your friend’s back yard.

BMX Sizingfreestyle-bmx.s300x300

  • Mini – Four to six year olds are a perfect fit for this tiny BMX bike. It has a low standover height, 155-mm cranks, 20 x 1 1/8″ tires.
  • Junior – Designed for seven to nine year olds, Junior BMX bikes have a slightly larger frame than Mini, 165-mm cranks and 20 x 1 3/8″ tires.
  • Expert – Nine to 13 year olds should rock an expert bike. It has a longer top tube than Junior, 170-mm cranks, 20 x 1.5-1.75″ tires.
  • Pro – Riders 12 and up are ready for a Pro BMX bike. They come standard with a “full-size” frame, 175-180-mm cranks, 20 x 1.75-2.2″ tires.

We’re nearly there! If cost isn’t an issue, choose an aluminum frame for a lightweight bike for racing. Younger children may also find aluminum frames lighter and easier to handle. Let’s not forget the wheels! If you plan to race, remember that racing BMX wheels tend to be lightweight, with 32 spokes, according to the Cool Biking Zone website. However, for urban tricks, you’ll need a more solid wheel with either 48 spokes or a thicker mag-style design.


Bern Asks, “Do You Have $300 Feet and a $10 Head?”

Protect your gray area! Because living in a black-and-white world sucks. You know that spongy grayish matter called the brain? Yah, you do not want it to become scrambled or at worse spill out on to the slopes! Your brain is a highly sensitive device that unfortunately comes in a chintzier case than a CD. And so often we see snowboarders and skiers wearing 300-dollar boots protecting their feet and a 10-dollar beanie protecting their heads. What sense does that make? Protect the head and stay living in color!

You may think donning a helmet is either uncool or inconvenient, but how cool will it be having drool wiped from your mouth for the rest of your life? When it comes to protecting your head, Bern believes there is a gray area and has engineered a way to protected and serve it.

Bern Unlimited specializes in head protection for non-motorized action sports enthusiasts. Bern’s passion, focus and commitment to providing unparalleled head protection is evident when concust or brain scramble rarely manifests after a crash, bump or a thrown bottle at an after party. Each Bern helmet is cast  from designers and engineers to fit each rider’s personality, lifestyle and, most importantly, the brain. Bern has driven the evolution of head protection. Get out and enjoy participating in action sports — consider it now safe to Crash and Bern.

The helmet to most boarders is right below the snowboard pole on the must-have list. Don’t add to the growing population of brain damaged daredevils who poured thousands into “cooler” tech rather than on a helmet. Remember, it takes seconds to put a helmet on but a lifetime of struggles if you don’t. Do you have a Crash and Bern story? Tell us, then find your protection at The House








Jamie Lynn Autographed 20th Anniversary Snowboard — Giveaway

Official Rules:

Description of the Jamie Lynn Giveaway:  

This is an Off-the-Wall giveaway. Purchase any VANS MTE (Mountain Edition) Hybrid Apparel between Nov. 28th, 2014 – Jan. 5th, 2015 and be automatically entered to win a 154cm Lib Tech Jamie Lynn autographed 20th Anniversary snowboard with custom artwork.


  • Grand Prize – 20th Anniversary Jamie Lynn Autographed Custom Snowboard



(The “sweepstakes”) is open only to legal residents of the lower (48) United States who are 13 years of age or older as of the Entry Period (defined below) or have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence, whichever is older. If winner is under 18  they must have the consent of  a parent or guardian.  Employees, officers, directors and agents of The House,  Neff, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and the immediate family (defined as parents, children, siblings and husband or wife) of each such employees, officers directors and agents (regardless of where they live), together with those with whom such employees , officers, directors and agents are domiciled, whether related or not, are not eligible to participate.

No Purchase Necessary to Enter or Win:

A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, altered, unintelligible or misdirected entries, which will be void. In the event of a dispute as to who submitted an entry, the person demonstrating to Sponsor’s satisfaction, as determined in Sponsor’s sole discretion, that he or she is the authorized holder of the e-mail account will be deemed to be the entrant. The “authorized holder of the e-mail account” is the natural person assigned by an Internet access provider, online service provider, Internet service provider or other similar organization to the email address used. Open only to US residents.

General Disclaimers/Conditions:

The House reserves the right to change the prize at any time, with, or without prior notice. Colors and size of some prizes may vary. We are not responsible for items lost in the mail by participating, entrants agree to abide by these official rules, and results. Contest period runs from  Nov. 28th, 2014 – Jan. 5th, 2015.


Winner will be selected by random drawing via the customer-entry database and customers who have purchased VANS MTE (Mountain Edition) Hybrid Apparel. Winner will be posted on The House blog, The House Social media outlets and notified by email. Odds of Winning: The odds of winning depend on the total number of eligible entries received. Winner will be selected January 5th, 2015.


If you would like a hard copy of the winners, please mail a self addressed envelope with postage to:

The House – Lib Tech – Jamie Lynn 20th Anniversary Board Giveaway

200 S. Owasso Blvd E.

St. Paul, MN 55117



You understand that by entering the Giveaway you are providing your email address to Active Sports Inc. The information you provide will be used to administer the Giveaway including, without limitation, to communicate with entrants or potential winners to the extent permitted by law. Sponsors (The House and SASS) may contact you by email or otherwise to send you company updates and announcements and promotions. You may unsubscribe at any time. Except as otherwise stated in these Official Rules, any personal information collected in connection with this Giveaway will be used in accordance with Sponsor’s Privacy Policy.

The sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Minnesota without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Minnesota, or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Minnesota. In addition, any dispute relating to the Sweepstakes (including these Official Rules) shall be brought in the appropriate state or federal court having jurisdiction over the subject matter located in the County of Hennepin, Minnesota.


The House Announces Official Retail Partnership with USASA

USASA_logoThe House Boardshop and USASA Provide Golden Opportunities to Thousands of Snowboarders and Freeskiers

St. Paul, MN (PRWEB) Oct. 15, 2014 — Opportunities are born from commitment. The House Boardshop today announced its partnership with the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA)  to become the official retail sponsor of all local and national USASA competitions. This exclusive partnership demonstrates the commitment of both brands to nurture the personal development and competitive spirit of all participants. Each year thousands of snowboarders and freeskiers of all ages from Olympic hopefuls to recreational riders join the USASA.

“USASA’s mission is to facilitate fun and fair events for all ages across the country, to attract snowboarders and freeskiers, promote their development, provide member education and influence the future of our sports,” said Pete Davis, USASA’s executive director.

Every US Olympic snowboarder has started their competitive career in the USASA. That is a great incentive for anyone who dreams of being the best. But if being an Olympian doesn’t drive you, USASA has many other recreational competitions that are equally as rewarding. Regardless of goals, being a member instills courage and confidence that integrates into all aspects of life.

The House believes everyone needs a support vehicle to succeed in life and sport. That is why The House is offering product discounts to all USASA members in an effort to equip participants with the necessary tools so that everyone regardless of socioeconomic background can get involved. This strategy helps build and sustain a “core” market of snowboarders and freeskiers to be lifelong consumers of the sports and brands.


About The House Boardshop:

The House educates, enriches and invigorates its core members to form a symbiotic relationship among cultures, sports and lifestyles. Each product we sell has been researched and tested by experts and, ultimately, approved by the end user – that’s you, the driving force behind everything that keeps us stoked! Simply put: We Embody What We Sell. The House is the nation’s largest boardshop based in St. Paul, MN. Founded in 1982, The House has equipped and sponsored everyone from weeknd warriors to Olympic Gold medalists.


Click here To see all  USASA events and clinics.


For more info contact:

Matt Gustafson



Burton’s 2015 Squeezebox Technology


Burton Snowboards give back more than they’ve taken out.  Since day one they’ve paved the way for constant progression, innovation, and understanding.  The time to showcase the evolution of technology is now, and there is no better company than Burton to do it with.

The ever expanding boandaries of Burton Snowboards lead to some of the most revolutionary technology that snowboarding has ever seen.  Technologies like Squeezebox, a performance driven core profile shape, mold the industry into new dimensions of pop and flex without sacrificing the strength of a snowboard.  For the 2015 Burton Snowboards, the Squeezebox was expanded with the addition of two new profiles; Squeezebox High and Squeezebox Low.

Burton Squeezebox High -

Squeezebox High

Found in the most responsive decks within Burton’s line, Squeezebox High gives an aggressive edge to the already agile boards.  With carbon fleece laid outside of the bindings areas boards featuring Squeezebox High have a quicker snap, more powerful pop, and lighting fast edge to edge transitions.

Squeezebox High is available in these Burton Snowboard models:  Antler, Custom X, Feelgood, Feelgood Flying V

Burton Squeezebox -


Classic Squeezebox is the profile shaped that changed the game.  With a perfect blend of thick and thin sections Squeezebox gives boards a perfect balance of energy transfer, consistent snap, firm stability in all riding conditions on any terrain.  Boards featuring Squeezebox are the most well rounded snowboards in Burton’s line.

Squeezebox is available in these Burton Snowboard models:  Flight Attendent, Spliff, Day Trader, Anti-Social, Custom, Custom Flying V, Barracuda, Trick Pony, Process, Process Flying V, Process Off-Axis, Nug, Nug Flying V, Deja Vu Flying V, Lip-Stick, Nugget, Talent Scout

Burton Squeezebox Low -

Squeezebox Low

With the progressive rider in mind Burton laid out Squeezebox Low.  A more stable lateral foot platform and a consitently smooth flex medially boards featuring Squeezebox Low will help reach the next ranks of progression. Jibbers will love this new core profiling shape because of the firmer flexing nose and tail to lock in dominate presses.

Squeezebox Low is available in these Burton Snowboard models:  Pile Driver, Blunt, Clash, Ripcord, Name Dropper, Descendant, Socail, Feather, Genie, Socialite

Burton Snowboards - Off Axis Squeezebox -

Off-Axis Squeezebox

Off-Axis Squeezebox anatomically alignes the angles of the thick and thin core profile sections to match the average freestyle rider’s stance angles of +15° and -15°.  Providing a natural smooth flex for park riding all boards featuring Off-Axis Squeezebox core profiling are asymmetrical and have a set toeside and heelside edge.

Off-Axis Squeezebox is available in these Burton Snowboard models: Custom Flying V Twin, Custom Twin, Process Off-Axis, Talent Scout, Name Dropper

Check out all of the Burton Snowboards  featuring Squeezbox technology HERE.

Alex Taran’s South American Beacon Project


Disproving Avalanche Myths and The South American Beacon Project:

House Rider Alex Taran Sets Out to Make a Difference

Avalanches do not affect people in Chile*. “Gringa no tenemos avalanchas en Chile…” a group of my friends told me before they dropped into a path without avalanche gear, but with 50cms of fresh snow. (*Later that year, in that same path, an avalanche closed the road for 3 days and, in a separate incident, killed a young man).  When something like an avalanche happens it may be deceiving. It is actually not an avalanche*. (*One Patagonian avalanche related death was blamed on “glacial movement” while another death outside of a well known ski area was not deemed an avalanche, rather just a “delizamento de nieve (loose snow sliding)”…. wait isn’t that an avalanche?) Avalanches happen but don’t affect us *(*one patroller reassured me not to worry, all the avalanches in their area happen between 2-6 am, no one is around to get caught). PHEW!

The South American Beacon Project548513_260307954062584_1266026143_n is a movement we started in 2010. We identified two things missing in Chile: an atmosphere where the need for avalanche education is recognized and providing rescue tools for workers. The lack of proper equipment is not due to Chileean Resorts being too poor to purchase rescue tools; quite the opposite. Discussions about avalanches are not present anywhere near mainstream culture. It is just not accepted. Avalanches are a myth. That’s where The South American Beacon Project comes in.

The SABP reuses fully functioning beacons after testing for distances (search and send) as well as flux line drift. These beacons go into the hands of workers following an introductory class on basic avalanche mechanics and partner rescue. We also facilitate outreach avalanche education through presentations, as many avalanche centers in North America do, as well as more detailed beacon classes. Since The SABP was founded we have placed over 160 beacons and taught students in 21 communities in Chile and Argentina.

Volcan-VillaricaBut this is only the beginning. This year we are working on launching the closest thing to an avalanche center that Chile has ever seen. We are building a website where people find the majority of classes available, a history of accidents, current snow observations, and weather links. We are trying to change this atmosphere, disproving the myths through outreach and resource distribution.

This is not only our movement. This is a movement for everyone in the ski community. The key is our sense of community and togetherness. Whether you’re a skier in the northern or southern hemisphere, Europe or Asia, a beginner or an expert, we are all human and we all share the love for this sport and lifestyle. If you have an interest in getting involved, disproving these myths, and sharing this love please visit our website: WWW.SOUTHAMERICANBEACONPROJECT.COM. See you in the mountains!

By: Alex Taran

House Rider Alex Taran is enjoying the fresh coat of white in the Southern Hemisphere. Follow her Chilean Ski Adventures on Instagram: @alex_taran and @thehouseboardshop and follow updates on The SABP @southamericanbeaconproject and #southamericanbeaconproject

Diary of a Pro Skier: Alex Taran — #2

Alex Diary Image 2

Seeking To Wander

“I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bread by cities. . . it is enough that i am surrounded by beauty.” — Everett Ruess

One middle finger in the air toward society and one thumb out toward destiny, in the direction of the unknown, Alex Taran has never been able to sit still for long. Home is where her truck is, her heart is in the mountains. An insatiable passion for skiing, a ski-vagabond mentality, and an altruistic desire to give back and teach have made Alex Taran the ultimate skiing adventurer. Her adventures from this spring alone are jaw dropping: she slayed powder in the North American West (UT, CO, and CA), skied a volcano in the middle of the Bering Sea, got lost in the Pacific Northwest, then got lost again in the desert, and made it back to SLC in time to pack for another season #chasingwinter in Chile.

Alex is headed for another season guiding for CASA Tours, improving South American Avalanche Safety with The South American Beacon Project, and pushing the limits of her skiing desire. The adventure fascination is an innate human virtue, passed along courageous lineage. It beckons us to climb high and travel into the depths of nature, explicating the depths within ourselves. In these travels, we untangle ourselves. We can amplify our beings while we elucidate our souls. We gain clarity, we relax, and we learn. For Alex Taran this must be done on the mountain with skis underneath her…or perhaps, on her backpack, thumb out, and smile cracked.


To Do -- Chile


Thumb’s Out, Fun’s Out: Hitchhiking in Chile

“I kept looking up the road, hoping to see another vehicle. It had been 20 minutes since the last car passed, and 2 hours since I started hitchhiking. An hour later I heard a thunderous sound. As it got louder, I could barely make out a bus in the distance. It was heading my way. I felt a sense of relief.

While hitchhiking most certainly saves you money, it’s money saving qualities are not the reason why several hours earlier I chose to demonstrate to oncoming traffic that I posses opposable thumbs. I choose to hitchhike purely because many times in remote areas there are no dependable bus schedules. Sometimes the bus shows up at 10am, sometimes it shows up at 1pm. On that day it showed up at 3. I climbed on board with my backpack on my back, skis in my hand. I barely got both feet into the bus before it started to pull away. I paid the driver 1.300 pesos ($2.50 USD) as the door shut behind me. For the next 3 hours I contemplated how I was going to get from the curb where I would get dropped off in Temuco to the Central Bus Station in Santiago.

This is Chile.

There are no coin washing machine facilities. Not many people here can afford cars and all the conveniences that come with them. All governmental organizations close at 1:30 (technically 2:00), and heating is so expensive that most people avoid using it (even in the middle of winter). But it is not really that bad. Most of the time the fact that data signals and 3G doesn’t work leads to conversations, and observations. The mountains that create cold housing and storms, which close roads, also create some of the most incredible skiing in the world. Waiting for a bus for 3 hours teaches you to laugh at yourself and be patient with the things you cannot control. We learn to become less attached to outcomes and more attached to the journey. Because after all will we ever be satisfied with an outcome, or will we just want more? Chile teaches you to stop focusing on the future while ignoring the present. Because here you don’t have a choice really, the bus comes when it comes.

So bring it on Chile. I will see you, your rickety buses, majestic peaks, and uncomfortable yet invaluable lessons in 2 weeks. Nos Vemos!” — Alex Taran


House Rider Alex Taran is enjoying the fresh coat of white in the Southern Hemisphere. Follow her Chilean Ski Adventures on Instagram: @alex_taran and @thehouseboardshop


By: Paddy O’Connell




Shred Argentina This Summer!



Recently, I have found myself daydreaming often. I have been escaping summer heat and the noise of the cluttered concrete jungle with flashes of snowfall, powder slashes, waves of cold smoke streaming up from the edges of my skis in the mountainous expanse of my mind. But this brief respite from the doldrum of summer is not enough to satisfy the hunger of the skier within, the slumbering beast. I must feed my passion with the meaty center in the initiation of the turn, that feeling in my gut as the flex in the soft creamy goodness whomps me through the arc, the “phhlooohh” of a cloud, the sensation of the snow boiling up from my knees to my hips to my chest, the satisfying cold sting as my face cuts through the blanket of white with a frozen smile. Search yourself. Can you live without this for another second?! NO!

What are we to do? Where can we turn? How can we possibly survive until next winter?! TRACK WINTER DOWN!

As the snow leopard stalks it’s prey, so must you go on the hunt. Join House Rider Garrett Russell while he is #ChasingWinter in Bariloche, Argentina ski guiding fro SASS Global Travel. SASS Argentina is a full service, big-mountain, backcountry, skiing and snowboarding camp for all ages. They take advantage of the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere to crush pow while others are sitting in air conditioning or sweating it out on a glacier. Shred some of the most sought after terrain in the world and join Garrett and the SASS Crew in the Patagonian Andes.

SASS takes over an entire hotel compound right at the base of Catedral Alta Patagonia, South America’s largest resort. Every morning clients will have the ability to choose how they want to spend the day on the mountain. Your guide or coach will help you accomplish your goals while shredding with a small group that is on the same page in terms of both skill level and desired terrain.

This is the perfect opportunity for those looking to push themselves into the terrain they have always fantasized about. Learn what it takes to shred big mountains and the backcountry not only better but properly.

The All Star cast of guides, coaches and logistics staff are there to help you experience the culture and the copious amounts of snow and fun to be had in Argentina this summer. Seek out that which enriches your soul. Plan for pow. Plan for fun. Plan with SASS.


garrett collage

By: Paddy O’Connell

How To Adjust Avid BB5 Disc Brakes

You’ll need a 5mm hex wrench and a Torx T-25 driver. Let’s start with the assumption that the rotor, caliper, and cable are properly installed on the bike, and that the rotor is true.


1. Loosen the (2) black CPS mounting bolts with a 5mm hex wrench to a point where the caliper body can move freely.


2. Loosen the inboard pad adjustment knob using a Torx T-25 driver.


3. Slide a business card between the outboard, fixed brake pad and the rotor (be sure the biz card is between the outboard fixed pad and the rotor, not the inboard adjustable pad and the rotor), then tighten the pad adjustment knob until the rotor and business card are snugly clamped between the brake pads (you should not be able to pull out the business card). This aligns and centers the caliper over the rotor while leaving a business-card-sized gap on the fixed side.


4. With the business card still in place, re-tighten both CPS bolts to lock the caliper in place.


5. Loosen the pad adjustment knob and remove the business card.

6. Tighten the pad adjustment knob until the pad just barely touches the rotor, then back off one click to eliminate pad/rotor contact.

This method is more precise than the method outlined in the Avid BB5 Instruction Manual. It perfectly aligns and centers the caliper body and brake pads over the rotor. I’ve found it to be the most consistent way to minimize lever throw and ensure full engagement when using BB5 road calipers and road levers. And once you’ve  done it a couple of times, it takes all of 5 minutes.

Full credit for this method goes to Tim Grahl at Blue Collar Mountain Biking. I’ve only reproduced it here to make sure it’s available for our readers. —Alan

Sneak Peek 2015 Dynastar Cham Skis

 The phrase “CHAM wow” echoed more frequently at the 2014 SIA Trade Show in Denver, Co., than the reverberated sound of footsteps at the local buffet. No, the blissful oralation didn’t stem from the famous towel that soaks up everything, but rather from the adulation surrounding Dynastar’s award-winning CHAM series.  As like its phonetic twin, The CHAM wowed the crowd after it had soaked-up all the liquid stains [euphemism for competition].



The CHAM is one of the most versatile freeride skis to hit the freeride market. In fact, Dynastar set-up a specialized R & D lab in Chamonix [hence the CHAM] to ensure the CHAM parallels the demands of freeride skiing. The result: multiple Freeride World Tour podiums and Outside claiming the 97mm “Outside Gear of the Year.” But something’s still missing in the series? It’s sorta like not having a gap wedge in your golf bag. Hmm? Amid all the hype, Nick, Dynastar’s version of Paul Revere, delivers an announcement so groundbreaking that even E.F. Hutton stopped to listen.  “A star is born!”

Dynastar has added the 117mm to the CHAM FAM to bridge the performance gap between the 107 and 127. CHAM’s award-winning technique of fusing rocker and 5-point sidecut with a paulownia wood core allows the 117 to transition seamlessly from playful freeride skis to fall-line crushers. Now that’s versatile! Dynastar has also mellowed the rocker in the tip to increase contact area and to eliminate tip deflection so you can track like a ballistic missile while maintaining predictable control. With the addition of a new rockered pintail design, your 117s will float on deep powder like a ghost on nitrous oxide yet maintain power, stability and speed on all terrains and in all conditions. Ride the revolution! CHAM 2.0 is here.